Letter to the Editor: Columbae’s run through library a tradition worth keeping
A great tradition died at the end of winter quarter.
Every finals week for as long as we can remember, co-op residents have quietly walked naked through Green Library to wish studiers good luck before finals. But two weeks ago, there were no bashful giggles echoing through the stacks. No awkwardly averted stares from astonished studiers. No chocolate covered espresso beans to liven up the monotony of the late night.
Four cop cars guarded the entrance to Green Library. Their purpose was unclear, but it was almost certainly to deter us. Once inside the library, one of the library attendants confronted us and politely but firmly told us we could not streak the library and had to leave.
I’m sad for this University. I’m sad that what has been a consistent and innocent tradition of youthful joy and freedom is being squashed. We acknowledge that nudity in the library is slightly distracting, and we appreciate that the library attendant is only doing his job. But we also firmly believe that this is a beautiful tradition, one that participants revel in for its expressive and liberating power, and one that onlookers appreciate as one of the crazy and exciting parts of an eclectic college experience.
Not everyone appreciates us walking naked through the library. But I think everyone appreciates that Stanford is (or was?) a place where “the wind of freedom blows.” And I think that if Stanford actively opposes the crazy shenanigans of its students, a great part of our tradition and culture will be lost.
I would like to end with an apology to the student body. We have failed you. Where we used to bring love and chocolate, we have left you alone and uninspired. In the wake of a series of confrontations between the student body and the University, we are again faced with an unsatisfying conclusion.
The only consolation we can offer is extending a campus-wide invitation to Columbae’s annual “Fuck the Man” party in spring. Peace out.
Elise Cooper ‘13